BEND, Ore. -

The wildfire season last July was a much different experience than this year's for Central Oregon fire officials.

There weren't big fires like we've seen this year.

NewsChannel 21 talked Wednesday with officials about how this July compared to last July.  

Deschutes County Forrester Ed Keith told us the data he uses to track fire danger shows before the past two days, we were on track of breaking a 10-year-old record for extreme danger.

The recent cool weather, however, stopped the danger from rising even more.

"The fuels are very dry right now, so much so that we are seeing conditions that are more like what we would see in middle to late August," said George Ponte, district manger for Oregon Department of Forestry.

Ponte says dry conditions on the High Desert this July have had firefighters scrambling like it's August.

Keith points to the amount of water in fuels such as grass and pine needles that  show just how dry we are.

"Now our fuel moistures are somewhere between 7 to 8 percent," Keith said. "Kilned dry lumber is about 12 percent, so we are very dry and fuels are very prone to burning quickly."

The threat of more lightning in the forecast is cause for concern.

"We are going to be busy with lightning-caused fires," Ponte said. "If we have human-caused fires, that just makes things more complex, much more difficult for us to handle "

As the Browns Creek Fire showed recreationists, they can be quickly interrupted by a significant fire.

"I guess I just say for residents to be prepared for evacuations," Keith said. "They can happen very quickly. (Just) don't wait until the fire happens to be ready."

The fire restrictions on private and public forest land include no campfires outside designated sites, no smoking and no cars on roads where there is a lot of vegetation growing in the road.

Officials hope that will help stop more fires from sparking, in what is expected to continue being a busy wildfire season.

"In Central Oregon, usually we were done by mid to late September. Now it seems that the fire season is extending well into October," Ponte said.

Even though there weren't any major fires in July 2012, there were still quite a number of small fires.

Between 400 and 500 wildland fires, both human- and lightning-caused, occur each year in Central Oregon.